Sunday, November 18, 2012

Daedalus and Icarus

Daedalus and Icarus, Mono Print, 22 x 29.5 in. $900.

 Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII, translated by Frank Justus Miller

...Daedalus, hating Crete and his long exile, and longing to see his native land, was shut in by the sea. "Though he may block escape by land and water," he said, "yet the sky is open, and by that way I will go. Though Minos rules over all, he does not rule the air." So saying, he sets his mind at work upon unknown arts, and changes the laws of nature. For he lays feathers in order, beginning at the smallest, short next to long, so you would think they had grown on a slope. Just so the old-fashioned rustic pan-pipes with their unequal reeds rise one above another. Then he fastened the feathers together with twine and wax at the middle and bottom; and, thus arranged, he bent them with a gentle curve, so that they looked like real birds' wings.

His son, Icarus, was standing by and, little knowing that he was handling his own peril, with gleeful face would now catch at the feathers which some passing breeze had blown about, now mold the yellow wax with his thumb, and by his sport would hinder his father's wonderful task. When now the finishing touches had been put upon the work, the master workman himself balanced his body on two wings and hung poised on the beaten air. He taught his son also and said: "I warn you, Icarus, to fly in a middle course, lest, if you go too low, the water may weight your wings; if you go too high, the fire may burn them. Fly between the two. And I bid you not to shape your course like Bootes or Helice or the drawn sword of Orion, but fly where I shall lead."

My Mono Print, Daedalus and Icarus, is one of several images depicting the subject of Icarus I will be exhibiting in my Studio, #9 on the Vashon Holiday Studio Tour, December 1-2 and 8-9.

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